Apply for the Utopia Urban Challenge (multiple prizes)

Apply for the Utopia Urban Challenge (multiple prizes)

Bring your solution for the future of the city.

Why is this challenge important?

The world as we know it is rapidly changing and Lagos, projected to become the world’s largest megacity by 2100, already faces significant challenges despite its position as a regional economic hub. These challenges present significant opportunities for entrepreneurs who leverage innovative approaches to build solutions that solve critical issues that impact residents within the city.

The Lagos Urban Innovation Challenge is designed to support the innovators and entrepreneurs who are shaping the Lagos of tomorrow.

What does the future of Lagos look like and how does your solution make the city better for everyone, including those in informal urban slums?

Who can participate?

01 — Urban Focus

Your urban solution or startup must operate in or focus on Lagos. Your proposed urban solution could make the city better for the many, not just the few.

02 — Stage and Team

You must be an early stage startup/team with at least a minimum viable product. There is a preference for teams with a gender mix.

03 — Solution

You must be able to demonstrate a clear business model.

Participate in these four (4) writing challenges - multiple prizes and no entry fees

Why should you participate?

01 — Expanded Profile

The Challenge is a great opportunity to build your network, gain access to key decision makers and be recognized by the media.

02 — New Growth

The Challenge can open doors for strategic partnerships to scale your solutions more broadly.

03 — Inspiring Mission

The Challenge is an opportunity to solve critical urban challenges for others in your city.

Challenge Timeline

April 6: Challenge launched and call for applications open
April 6 – May 31: Application phase
June 1 – June 14: Application review phase; semifinalists selected
June 15: Semifinalists notified and interviews scheduled
June 15 – July 5: Interviews conducted and finalists selected
July 6: Winners announced

TBC: Summit and Award Ceremony

Under 14 or have kids under 14? Submit photos for the Children's Peace Image of the Year (2020)

Note: While the challenge is designed to run virtually and we do not foresee any major impact of COVID-19 on the dates, there is the possibility of extending the application period to allow innovators respond to the emergence of new trends that might shape the future of cities.

What are the prizes and benefits?

More benefits to be announced in the near future.

Up to 12 semifinalists will:

  • Receive $10,000 in AWS Activate Credits valid for 2 years

Up to 6 finalists will:

  • Participate in Utopia’s virtual urban accelerator programme
  • Receive curated access to equity funding opportunities
  • Receive curated access to relevant Lagos State government agencies
  • Be eligible for workspace vouchers from Lagos Innovates
  • Get access to Utopia’s global network of experts and partners
  • Get 6 months priority access to Utopia Lagos CITYLAB space at launch
  • Get access to Utopia Studio in Silicon Valley

How do you define an urban solution?

Any innovative solution that can make the city better for the many, not just the few.

Above 14? Submit entries for the Global Peace Photo Award 2020

Do you have thematic areas?

We’re interested in urban innovations across various themes that affect city life. All entries will be considered though we generally place solutions in these buckets. Wildcard solutions welcome.

Utopia Urban Challenge
Utopia Urban Challenge

What are the evaluation criteria?

We will assess applications based on 5 criteria.

01 — Critical: Does this solution address a critical problem in Lagos?

02 — Original: Is the urban solution innovative within the city?

03 — Scalable: Can this solution impact one million people in Lagos?

04 — Viable: Can this solution be implemented in Lagos?

05 — Team Capacity: Has the team demonstrated the capacity to build and scale the urban solution?

Do we already need to be formed as a startup to participate?

Already formed and functioning startups have an advantage but we will take a look at all teams.

Is the focus on the formal or informal part of the city?

We welcome teams who are either working in the formal city or their informal slums. We’ll likely choose a mix of these.

Submit entries for the 2020 IPA Oneshot/Movement Photography Awards ($4,500 prizes)

What if I just have an idea?

If you are still at the ideation phase, you can submit your idea here (lagoschallenge@utopia.do) in 140 characters or less. You likely won’t be an award winner but we’ll find ways to highlight the best ideas and would like to speak with you further about how we can support you.

If I’m not participating in the challenge, how can I get involved?

Our aim is to stimulate and support an ecosystem of urban innovators and innovations across the city. Please let us know how you would like to plug in and let’s chat! lagos@utopia.do

More Details and Application

Visit the Program Website

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